According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, patient care can be optimized by having EMS and health information exchange (HIE) organizations share patient health data.
In an effort to encourage the use of data sharing initiatives, this resource discusses how successful data sharing works and how it has helped five state and local health initiatives achieve improvements in patient care.
Data sharing can be used for day-to-day patient care, as well as for disaster response. This report can help EMS officials and HIE organizations understand:
- The potential benefit of HIE and EMS coordination;
- The new California Search, Alert, File, Reconcile (SAFR) model for health information exchange and how it is being implemented by five communities;
- Successes and challenges experienced by the five communities as they work to integrate EMS and HIE; and
- Ideas and next steps to move HIE and EMS integration forward in their state or locality.
It is critical for first responders to have access to patient health history in order to make optimal decisions regarding patient care. This is especially important if the patient’s health providers are not available to provide this data to EMS personnel.
In regard to disaster scenarios, having EMS connected with an HIE organization can ensure that first responders have easy access to the health data of patients who have been displaced and have no contact with their normal healthcare team.